Every so often someone will email me to ask if I am related to or know

about “Weatherbee the Weatherman?”

Sometimes they ask if I am Weatherbee the Weatherman.

I am not.

To begin with, I spell my name W-e-t-h-e-r-b-e-e-, not W-e-a-t-h-e-r-b-e-e.  My family name comes from sheep not precipitation. A wether is a castrated sheep, like a gelding or a steer or a capon. You have heard, no doubt, of a “bell-wether”.

Bye is the Old English name for farm. So a wether-bye is a sheep farm.

Over the years the name had been corrupted so that about half the Wetherbees in this world now add an “a” to the name. But it still isn’t about snow or rain or sleet or wind. It’s about sheep.

Nonetheless the Farmer’s Almanac out of Maine (not the Old Farmer’s Almanac and Yankee Magazine from Dublin, New Hampshire, but the one out of Maine) … their weather forecaster is called Caleb Weatherbee. The Dublin publication uses, “Abe Weather-wise”

   Fritz’ great grandfather, James with   Fritz' grandfather, Fred in 1866

Song available on LINKS page




My only son is named Caleb Wetherbee.  Robb Trowbridge at Yankee Magazine once wrote me saying I should sue the guys in Maine ‘cause I had named my kid before they created their weatherman’s name.

I think if I had it to do over, I would become a meteorologist.

But back to the question;

When weatherman Don Kent first was on the air at WBZ-TV he called himself “Weatherbee the BZ  Weatherman”.

Catchy. But Don Kent was the best weatherman in New England (My opinion is he was the best weatherman in America … maybe, ever). So Don did not need gimmicks. Weatherbee the BZ Weatherman went by the wayside.

The other Weatherbee the Weatherman I remember is Tex Antoine who was a staple on New York City Television in the nineteen-fifties through 1976 when he self-destructed on the air.

Tex was an artist-weatherman. He drew cartoons and maps of the weather and he was very entertaining.

And he had this sidekick, “Uncle Weatherbee”. Uncle Weatherbee was a wooden cartoon of a man’s face made up of pieces of plywood; flat, dumb-looking.

Uncle Weatherbee was in a box, a kind of frame with a door. Tex would ask the cartoon questions about the weather.

But Tex one day, told a tasteless  joke on live television, a joke so dreadful that he was instantly out of a job.

And with him went Uncle Weatherbee.

Requiescant in pache, I say.